What Happened Last Night
Texas A&M 86, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 69: This was succinctly described by Good Bull Hunting’s gigthem08 as like an awkward date party: “We didn’t want them close, but also didn’t ask them to leave.” The Aggies held a 10 to 15-point lead for most of the second half and wound up winning by 17; A&M never made a run to put the game away, but Corpus Christi (who really needs to drop the unwieldy moniker for branding purposes) never really threatened to close the gap, either. Tyler Davis finished with 25 points and 8 rebounds -- and also played 30 minutes, which if you know my opinions on Texas A&M is kind of a big deal if he can do that on a nightly basis.
|Houston at Arkansas||7:00 PM||SEC Network/WatchESPN|
|Presbyterian at Tennessee||7:00 PM||SEC Network+/WatchESPN|
|Miami (Ohio) at Missouri||8:00 PM||SEC Network+/WatchESPN|
|High Point at Vanderbilt||8:00 PM||SEC Network+/WatchESPN|
|Florida vs. Duke||9:00 PM||ESPN/WatchESPN|
At most universities, final exams are either already underway or will be soon, so tonight is the last time for a few days that there will be a lot of action. (For instance, there are a grand total of three games involving SEC teams between Wednesday and Friday.)
Tonight, the Florida-Duke matchup commands your attention. This is essentially a free shot at a marquee win for the Gators: exactly no one is going to hold it against them if they lose to Duke, but a win over Duke would do wonders for their NCAA Tournament hopes. And unlike, say, Georgia, they already have a couple of solid wins (Seton Hall and Miami) under their belts so this isn’t a do-or-die situation either. Houston at Arkansas is an underrated quality matchup as well; the Cougars are 6-1, though the one loss was an ugly 19-point loss at LSU.
The rest of the slate, well... Presbyterian (346th in KenPom) and Miami (Ohio) (303rd) are stereotypical pre-finals week opponents for Tennessee and Missouri, respectively: both teams should get an easy win, though if either team has trouble you might want to sound the alarm bells (if you’re not already sounding the alarm bells about Missouri, that is.) High Point looked like a solid low-major when Vanderbilt scheduled them, but they’re currently 279th in KenPom -- though they did manage to keep things interesting at Clemson. Unless you’re a fan of one of these teams, these games probably aren’t worth your time.
Odds and Picks
Season to Date: 26-44-1 ATS
(Aside: I’m normally writing this article well before game time, so when there’s a late decision about the status of a key player — looking at you, South Carolina and your decision to inform everyone that Sindarius Thornwell was suspended less than an hour before the game — well, my picks here are probably not taking that into account. Not that my record would be that much better, but hey... you can always just pick the opposite of what I do.)
- Houston at Arkansas (-6): It’s hard to tell if Houston’s 19-point loss to LSU was simply a bad matchup for the Cougars or if that’s a sign that the Cougars are being overrated by Ken Pomeroy’s laptop on the backs of blowout wins over the likes of Prairie View A&M... but either way, I like Arkansas to win and cover here, though they’ll probably be sweating it out.
- Miami (Ohio) at Missouri (-9.5): Missouri’s not very good, but Miami is awful, and the Tigers have shown they’re at least capable of beatdowns of the dregs of Division I.
- Florida vs. Duke (-6.5): Florida’s a good team, but this isn’t really a good matchup for the Gators. Duke is getting healthy and I like them to win this game fairly easily.